A Little Memoir and Some Questions It Raises

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"Do the lines that government officials draw on maps sever the heart of humanity?"

We are all migrants in one way or another.  One of the purposes of this blog is to point this out, encouraging us to see the similarities, rather than the differences, between "us" and "others" who move about on the earth.  The more commonalities we see, the more likely we are to relate, empathize, and speak up in support of those who are in some way like us. 

This short memoir, the story of an American family who migrated from one state to another in search of higher wages, a better life, and more promising opportunities for their children, speaks to the common dreams we all share.  You won't find a more American story than this.  You also won't find a more global, or a more human, story than this. 

Thanks to Tomás for putting it out there.

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kyledeb said:

What a great article, janna. I love the way he connects his moving from Oklahoma to the West Coast to migrants moving from Mexico to California.

I don't know if I like how he refutes anti-immigrationists, though:

Anti-immigrationists often say that the Mexicans come here only to go on welfare. Aside from this declaration’s manifest misrepresentation of the truth, one wonders why the obvious remedy for this alleged problem does not occur to them: get rid of welfare—after all, nobody, regardless of his place of birth, has a just right to live at other people’s coerced expense.

Others claim that the “illegals” crowd the public schools and hospitals, sucking resources away from the taxpayers. If so, then the answer is the same: get the government out of the business of schooling and healing; it ought never to have gone there in the first place.

Other than that it was a good piece.

George said:

First of all, there are very few anti-immigrationists. Few object to the over two million visa and resident aliens permitted to immigrate legally every year, more than the rest of the world combined. The majority are simply indignant over the fact that their laws are disregarded by their neighbor to the south. Be honest now, wouldn't the citizens of Mexico and your motherland be very upset if U.S. citizens were crossing their borders at will, without so much as asking permission to do so. I assert that they would react exactly as Americans tend to do. Judging by the medieval punitive immigration laws of Mexico, nativism is alive and well in that country. If not for sovereign pride and nativism, why would a country be so vicious towards illegal aliens? Should we call Central and South Americans nativists, bigots or respect their wishes as citizens of sovereign nations in control of their own destiny? Like many Hispanics you respect only one side of this issue. Could it be because you are blinded by your own self-intersts and hate against your opposition?

kyledeb Author Profile Page said:


Again I would appreciate learning a little bit more about where you come from. Myself? I am not Hispanic believe it or not, both of my parents are from Michigan, and I identify as white.

If it's true that so many are in favor of legal immigration than why is it that there is not outcry when legal immigrants suffer injustice. The Christian Science Monitor came out with an article today about how the wait for legal immigrants is now endless, and the ones that do get into the U.S. are often victim to a horrendous beauracracy.

It's funny you mention the punitive migrant laws in Mexico, because they were actually put in place as a result of U.S. lobbying for NAFTA. See National Geographic's the Undocumented Documentary for more information. Also look up the Ladies of La Patrona to see how welcoming average Mexicans are to the migrants in the south.

I don't hate against my opposition. Sure I poke fun, that's the nature of the blogosphere. I mean with yourself, I'm just trying to have a reasonable conversation, and I've asked to get to know you several times now. It is throw knowing one another that we can better get an idea of the person and get away from generalizations.

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This page contains a single entry by janna published on February 26, 2008 4:46 PM.

Personal Update: Online Identity Crisis? was the previous entry in this blog.

Deported for Skipping School: Pro-Migrant Round-Up is the next entry in this blog.

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